New Venture Hopes To Make Newspapers Money Online

    April 15, 2009

Three veteran media executives have partnered to launch a company with the goal of helping struggling U.S. news papers and other traditional media make money online by charging readers for content.

Journalism Online says it " will quickly facilitate the ability of newspaper, a magazine and online publishers to realize revenue from the digital distribution of the original journalism they produce."

Steven BrillThe people behind Journalism Online include Steven Brill, founder of Court TV, Gordon Crovitz, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Leo Hindery, a former chief executive of AT&T Broadband.

Brill said Journalism Online has been in discussions with most major U.S. newspaper and magazine publisher and they had "strong interest" in the company.

"We think this is a special moment in time when there is an urgent need for a business model that allows quality journalism to be the beneficiary of the Internet’s efficient delivery mechanism rather than its victim," said Brill.

"We believe we have developed a strategy and a set of services that will establish that model by restoring a stream of circulation revenue to supplement advertising revenue."

The founders of Journalism Online believe readers would pay for "quality journalism" and announced plans to create a Web site that would allow publisher to charge for content.

Journalism Online said it would develop a password-protected Web site that would allow readers to purchase annual or monthly subscriptions through one account. Publishers would have control over which content to charge for and how much to charge.

"Journalism Online will enable news publishers to negotiate from a position of strength," said Crovitz.

"Consumers will benefit because they will have greater choice, and search engines and other intermediaries will benefit because they will have access to more journalism."